Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Guest Kathylene

Assumed Deceased: Patty Brightwell Vaughan - TX - 12/25/1996

20 posts in this topic


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: December 25, 1996 from La Vernia, Texas

Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 17, 1964
Age: 32 years old
Height and Weight: 5'7, 120 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Blonde hair, green eyes.

Patty's ears are pierced. Her last name may be spelled "Vaughn" by some agencies. Patty's maiden name is Brightwell.
Clothing Description: A bracelet, a watch, a wedding band and possibly a thumb ring.

Details of Disappearance

Patty and her husband, Jerry Ray ("JR") Vaughan, began a trial separation in October 1996. A photo of JR is posted below this case summary. JR moved into an apartment in San Antonio, Texas and Patty remained at their residence on Oak Park Road in La Vernia, Texas with their three children. The couple had been married since 1985. Patty was dating a former boyfriend in December 1996 and the relationship apparently caused an argument between Patty and JR at her home on December 25, 1996. Patty disappeared from her home that day between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. and has not been seen again.

JR told authorities that Patty left the house alone on December 25 and simply vanished. He filed for divorce from his wife on December 26, one day after Patty was last seen. Other family members reported her as a missing person to authorities. Patty's blue Dodge Caravan was discovered abandoned with a flat tire on December 26, one day after she was last seen. The vehicle was located on Loop 1604 in South Bexar County, approximately 5 miles from Patty's employer, Quinney Electric, and 15 miles from her home. Tests revealed that the tire had been intentionally deflated. Investigators searched her residence and vehicle and discovered blood inside the van, on the walls and floor of Patty's bedroom and on a mop inside the house. Someone had attempted to clean the blood from the premises prior to discovery. DNA testing proved that the blood was Patty's. She has never been located and no arrests have been made in connection with her case. Foul play is suspected in Patty's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.

Patty and her family have previously lived in the following areas: Portland, Maine; Athens, Georgia; and Stafford, Virginia. She enjoys singing and was active in her church choir in 1996.

Patty's mother was charged with burglarizing JR's residence and assaulting him with a baseball bat in February 1997, two months after her daughter disappeared. She said she thought he was involved in her daughter's disappearance. Patty's case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Bexar County Sheriff's Office
Texas Department Of Public Safety

Information provided courtesy of the Charley Project.

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason
Read our blog about missing persons:

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Search Resumes For Woman Missing For Almost 10 years

LAST UPDATE: 6/9/2006

Posted By: Michael Campion

It's one of the most high profile missing persons cases in the history of Bexar County, and now there's been a major development in the search for Patty Vaughan.

The Texas Rangers spent most of Friday combing the grounds of a high school in the small town of Natalia, 30 miles southwest of San Antonio.

What they say they're looking for is some clue about the disappearance of Vaughan on Christmas day of 1996.

Just a few months after she went missing, investigators searched the foundation of a new school that J.R. Vaughan, Patty's ex-husband, helped build.

On Friday, investigators were vague when asked how they knew to search behind the school gym that wasn't even built when Vaughan disappeared.

"Right now, we're conducting a GPR, the ground penetrating radar, on this area behind the high school," said Sgt. Martin Molina with the Bexar County Sheriff's Department.

This is the second time Texas Rangers have searched that area. No word yet if anything concerning Vaughan was found.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Family celebrates life of woman who's been missing for 10 years

Web Posted: 01/13/2007 10:33 PM CST

Jeorge Zarazua


ST. HEDWIG  Dozens of colorful balloons carrying Patty Vaughan's photograph were released into the gray sky amid drizzling rain as her family gathered to observe the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.

The releasing of balloons in the parking lot of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church served as a symbolic gesture for the Vaughan family, who on Saturday decided to let go of much of their anger over her disappearance and instead focus on celebrating her life.

Vaughan has been missing since Christmas Day 1996, when she drove away from her home in La Vernia after arguing with her estranged husband, Jerry Ray Vaughan. She was 32.

Although authorities suspect foul play and have questioned the husband in connection with Vaughan's disappearance, no one has been charged with her death and the case has since gone cold.

"We decided this Christmas that it was time to honor her with the respect she deserves," said Barbara Kinsey, Vaughan's cousin. "This is the closest thing we may ever have to a funeral for her."

The Mass on Saturday at the ornate, 19th century Catholic church was in memory of Vaughan.

Father Bill Zadora said the congregation shared in the family's pain and offered words of support.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Disappearance of Patty Brightwell Vaughan

The mystery of what happened to Patty Vaughan began on Christmas day 1996. Patty Vaughan was separated from her husband of 12 years J R (Jerry Ray) but was expecting his visit to see their 3 children, Brittany, Ray and Tyler.

The evening before, on Christmas eve at a family gathering, Patty expressed her concerns and fears and had even asked for help in filing a restraining order against JR. Plans were made to file the following week right after Christmas. She never got that chance.

During the day Christmas, Patty spoke briefly with a family member who thought she had been crying, she abruptly had to go as JR ordered her off the phone. That is the last that anyone in the family spoke with Patty.

According to JR, they had a terrible argument in which he was “madder than he’d ever been†and that she had simply got in her van and vanished sometime between 6 and 9.She had driven away from her children on Christmas.  THIS WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED. One resounding statement that is echoed by all who knew Patty is that should would have never ever left her children anytime in that situation let alone Christmas.

Patty had recently rekindled a relationship with an old boyfriend and had received a heart shaped diamond necklace from him on Christmas eve. She was the happiest the family had seen her. She was also terrified. Her new boss at the electric company she began working for stated that she had been harassed by her estranged husband, on the phone and in person and had to leave several times to avoid conflict.

Over the next 24 hrs is when her family realized something was terribly wrong.  She had plans with her cousin Cathy and would have never not called nor shown up. After several attempts to contact Patty, JR, friends and other family members, the decision was made to contact the police. JR contacted Cathy at 7:14 PM on Dec 26th. We know this is what time it was because his first words to her were “what time is it?â€Â. Then he stated that she was missing and that her van had been found on the side of a road. When Cathy explained to him that she had already contacted the police he shouted that it was too soon, she should have waited, that he would handle things.

JR was questioned briefly and then retained a criminal defense attorney, he refused lie detector nor any help in the search. After preliminary Luminol tests were done in the home which showed strong blood reactions, particularly in the bedroom, master bath and master closet area.

A search warrant to obtain blood samples for the children and JR had to be obtained due to his refusal to cooperate.In the supoena, it is stated that “enough blood evidence has been found in the home at 152 Oak Park Rd. to believe a murder was committedâ€Â. All DNA evidence proved that all blood found was that of Patty Vaughan. On the walls, floor, baseboard, wipe marks, swipe marks, shoe prints, in a bucket and on a mop. Also, in JR’s apartment was a shirt with Patty’s blood on it.

JR had moved into his own apartment in Oct 1996 when they separated. He had turned in his notice to vacate due to “a life and death situation†on Dec 13th. He moved back into the family home on the 27th, 2 days after Patty vanished and changed the home phone message machine which had Patty’s voice on it the same day.

Also a note of interest is that Patty’s van was found 20 miles from her home and 5 miles from her office. Her right front tire had been intentionally deflated and her carpet freshly shampoo’d. The carpet was still wet but crime lab tests found small amounts of Patty’s blood behind the drivers seat and various other places in the van.

It has been 10 years since Patty vanished. JR long ago, took the children and moved away. Patty was (by JR)& declared legally dead and an attempt to collect her life insurance was made by JR but was blocked by Patty’s mother, sisters, brothers, cousins and aunts and uncles to ensure the education of Patty’s children. Patty’s family has come to terms with the fact that Patty would not be found alive but would like to have closure and a proper, respectful burial that she deserves. Not “buried under a wood pile with feces all around†as JR said in his only statement to the police.

It seems surreal that someone as loving and wonderful as Patty could just vanish without a trace. It is the hope of Patty’s family that someone somewhere knows something and would come forward and do the right thing.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Family Digs Up Plot Searching For Missing Woman | WOAI.COM: San Antonio News

Family Digs Up Plot Searching For Missing Woman.

May 1, 2007

Posted Image

The family of a mother missing for 10 years is leading their own search and investigation Sunday night.

Frustrated that it has been ten years since Patty Vaughn disappeared, her family is now zeroing in on a field in Pleasanton, south of San Antonio. Over the years the family has gotten many tips about where to find Patty Vaughan's remains. They say the Pleasanton location would have been a convenient dumping ground around the time Vaughan disappeared.

“I don't really care if we have to dig up every backyard, every fire pit and every empty graveyard until we find her,†Barbi Kinsey, a cousin, told News 4 WOAI’s Natalie Tejeda.

It’s that determination that’s led the family of Patty Vaughan to the field ten years after the mother of three disappeared.

“Devastating, absolutely devastating not knowing where she is. We know what happened to her but we don't know where she is,†Kinsey said.

Vaughan's family has always suspected patty's husband, Jerry Ray Vaughan, a building contractor, was responsible for her death. But he's never been named a suspect by police.

“We just keep looking. We check it off our list and we say ok. We followed that lead and she's not here.â€Â

About a year and a half ago, family members received a tip that Patty Vaughan’s husband had dumped some stuff in this field when he was doing construction at a near by school. Then, a month ago, a search organization donated the use of an imaging machine. When they surveyed the field it came up with several hits. They broke ground yesterday and say that as long as they have daylight they’ll keep searching.

“Each of these piles represents areas where we've searched and she's not there,†said Kinsey, “sooner or later we'll find her. We'll find out what happened to her and we won't stop until we do.â€Â

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cold Case: Search for clues continues 11 years after mom's disappearance

Web Posted: 12/24/2007 02:04 AM CST

Itza Gutierrez

KENS 5 Eyewitness News

Eleven years ago, on Christmas Day, Patty Vaughan disappeared without a trace, leaving behind a family eager for closure and investigators who are constantly looking for clues.


"She sang like an angel," Patsy Wallace, Patty's mother, said.

Patty's memory is vivid for family and friends who wonder exactly what happened to this young mother of three children. Over time, Vaughan's mother has developed her own theory.

"I know she was, she was murdered," Wallace said.

The problem is that Patty's body has never been found.

"They need closure, and this case needs to be closed," said Dep. Adrian Ramirez, with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office's cold case unit.

Investigators have created a timeline. On Dec. 25, 1996, Patty's husband, J.R. Vaughan, was invited to the house for Christmas. Patty and J.R.'s discussions of divorce became heated, so relatives stepped in to help.

"She was last seen at 4:30 p.m., when some family members went to pick up her children," Ramirez said.

However, when the kids returned at 11 p.m., J.R. said Patty was gone.

"Patty would not leave her children behind. She is not that type of person," Ramirez said.

The next day, Patty's blue van was found near Spanish Grant Road in south Bexar County. It was cleaner than usual, except for some blood stains that were traced back to Patty, and one of the tires was flat.

"Once the tire was inflated again, it held air, which shows us that somebody tampered with that tire," Ramirez said.

Inside the Vaughan’s house, investigators found more drops of blood. Patty was officially missing, so investigators started searching grassy fields, wading in shallow ponds and inspecting construction sites where J.R. Vaughan was contracted to work. However, over the past 11 years, there's been no sign of Patty.

"I think it's time for them to open up and just let it go and let us know, and put themselves in the shoes of the family," Ramirez said.

The family prays that someday Patty will be laid to rest.

"That would be the greatest Christmas gift that anybody ever gave us, is just to find her body," Wallace said.

If you know anything about Patty Vaughan's mysterious disappearance or where she can be found, call Crime Stoppers at (210) 224-STOP (7867). Remember, your call is anonymous. If your tip leads to an arrest, you could make up to $5,000 cash.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Patty Vaughan’s family seeks answers 10 years later

Victoria Dixon

Wilson County News

May 9, 2007

PLEASANTON  Family and friends of Patty Vaughan are still hoping to recover her body despite the fact that she disappeared more than 10 years ago. A two-day dig, at a construction dump site used by Patty’s husband, Jerry Ray “J.R.†Vaughan, around the time of her disappearance, was conducted April 28-29, in the hope of attaining that goal. No body or other evidence in the case was recovered.

The dig was made possible by donations of time, equipment, and money. Some of the volunteers were family and friends of Patty’s, others merely knew of her case and offered to do what they could.

Monica Caison and Mark Benson, from a missing persons group in North Carolina called the Community United Effort (CUE) Center, provided the ground-penetrating radar unit that was vital to the search.

According to Barb Kinsey, Patty’s cousin, the cost for this type of equipment can range from $6,000 to $10,000 per day. The couple brought the equipment from Ohio and performed a full excavation of the site.

Another stranger giving aid to the search was Zane Lancaster from Lancaster Excavation in Lampasas. He left his home at 3 a.m., made the more than three-hour drive to Pleasanton, and ran his backhoe for 17 straight hours. His only charge for all this was a request to cover his gas costs for the drive to and from Pleasanton.

Tim Miller, with a Houston missing persons organization, Texas Equusearch, also offered his services on the second day of the dig.

Kinsey said she was amazed by the kindness of these strangers. They excavated an area nearly three-quarters the size of a football field, to a depth of 14 feet. They worked through mud, rock, bugs, and lots of rain, for 17 hours without a complaint, she said.

Even though the dig did not finally answer the question of where Patty was, it gave the family vital information about where she was not.

The family is not holding out hope that they will ever find Patty alive, nor do they continue to search in an attempt to seek closure, Kinsey said. Their only wish now is to recover her body in order to bring her murderer to justice. “It is very hard in the state of Texas to get a conviction without a body,†Kinsey said.

Details about the disappearance

Patty was last seen on Christmas day in 1996. Her estranged husband, J.R., told authorities at that time that Patty left the home following a heated argument.

The following day, her van was found deserted 20 miles away from her home. Although the carpet was still wet from being shampooed, the police recovered blood evidence in the van. More blood was found in Patty’s home. DNA tests confirmed both to be Patty’s blood.

Everyone who knew Patty felt 100-percent certain that she would never have abandoned her three children, then ages 9, 7, and 5. This belief, combined with the blood evidence, was proof to her family and friends that she had met with foul play.

In the 10 years since the disappearance, the Wilson County and Bexar County Sheriff’s offices have searched various locations, based on tips received from different sources, to no avail.

This most recent search puts one more checkmark to the list, Kinsey said. The Bexar County Cold Case Division continues to work on the case, and “they are doing a great job,†Kinsey said.

All the initial reward money and donations to benefit the search for Patty have been used up, Kinsey said, but she has plans to create a new fund.

Anyone with information about the disappearance, or looking to aid in the search can find information at

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Investigators Reopen Patty Vaughn Disappearance Case

POSTED: 9:14 pm CDT May 15, 2008

UPDATED: 10:27 pm CDT May 15, 2008

SAN ANTONIO -- Nearly 12 years after her disappearance, investigators may have a possible break in finding out what happened to San Antonio mom Patty Vaughn.

Bexar County investigators now handling the case decided to investigate a pile of clothes found inside the missing woman's van and may have found a new piece of evidence.

Investigators found a red workman's jumpsuit inside a pile of men's clothing where Vaughn's blood was found in 1996.

"What jumped out is that this jumpsuit seemed to be a worker... automotive repair or plumbing," Adrian Ramirez said.

Ramirez, along with Louis Antu, are two of the cold case detectives who have taken over the case.

The detecties believe the evidence is substansial in proving Vaughn's disappearance was the result of foul play and that the mother of three was possibly killed. The investigators also said new statements from witnesses lead them to believe more than one person was involved.

"We have witnesses who say they saw a gentleman and female at the van," Antu said. "What's unique about this jumpsuit is that there is an emblem with the letters 'JM.'"

Anybody with information into the disappearance of the mother of three is asked to contact cold case investigators at 210-335-6041.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vaughan’s family still seeks answers

William J. Gibbs Jr.

Wilson County News

December 23, 2008

ADKINS — Dec. 25 will mark the 16th anniversary of the disappearance of Patty Inez Brightwell Vaughan. But with the passage of time, many questions have remained unanswered.

Patty, then 32, was reported missing Dec. 26, 1996, after failing to drop off her three children at a relative’s home in San Antonio. According to the report from the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, it was also revealed that Patty had never shown up for work at Quinney Electric that day and that no one had seen or heard from her.

Perhaps coincidentally, Patty’s estranged husband, construction worker Jerry Ray “J.R.” Vaughan, filed for divorce Dec. 26, 1996.

Also that day, Patty’s blue 1991 Dodge Caravan was found abandoned on the shoulder of Loop 1604 South in Bexar County, approximately 5 miles from her workplace, with the driver’s side front tire deflated. Inside the van, where someone had attempted to clean the interior, traces of Patty’s blood were found.

The blood inside the van was consistent with blood that was later found during through Luminol testing in Patty’s home.

Luminol is often used by crime scene investigators to locate blood evidence because of its reaction to hemoglobin, which causes the chemical to give off a blue glow.

Police reports indicate that J.R. alleges that Patty left the house on the evening of Dec. 25 after the couple had been arguing, which is something that Patty’s cousin, Barb Kinsey of Dallas, has never believed. “She would never have left her children with J.R. for any extended period of time,” Kinsey said. “She definitely wouldn’t have left them on Christmas


According to Patty’s aunt, Barbara Jean Kiolbasa of St. Hedwig, who is also Kinsey’s mother, the Vaughans had been separated for the three months leading up to Patty’s disappearance. But because Patty wanted the couple’s three children, who were then ages 5, 7, and 9, to also have Christmas with their father, she invited J.R. over for the day.

“The best we can gather is something happened mid-afternoon on Christmas Day,” Kiolbasa said. “None of us who lived in the area saw or spoke with Patty on Christmas Day, but around 1 p.m., Patty’s younger sister, who was living in Georgia, called her and said Patty sounded upset, like she had been crying. But Patty told [her sister] that she might be catching a cold.”

Kiolbasa said J.R.’s side of the family was scheduled to come over for the evening, but when his sister arrived, she was told that Patty was in the bedroom and did not want to see anyone.

Relatives, friends, sheriff’s deputies from Bexar and Wilson counties, and

officers from the Texas Rangers searching for Patty in the several years following her disappearance spent countless hours and resources. Donations were collected and expended, but a Web site devoted to the case,, still remains active.

But one thing that has not been able to withstand the years is

the relationship between Patty’s side of the family and the missing woman’s three children. Kinsey says their father has done everything to prevent her family from seeing them.

According to Kinsey, J.R., who successfully petitioned to have his wife declared legally dead in 2005, has moved at least three times with his children. Today, she says, J.R. resides under a different name in Boise, Idaho, and has remarried and divorced.

As for finding the truth about what happened to Patty, Chief Deputy Johnie Deagen of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation has become a “cold case,” because it has been quite some time since new leads have surfaced.

Kinsey alleges that law-enforcement officials have mishandled the case from the beginning, because they failed to follow through on so many leads.

“There were no pictures taken after the Luminol tests and no measurements were taken of the footprints inside the house,” she said. “I asked the investigator why, and he said it was because he ran out of film in his camera.”

Kiolbasa said, “Then they had more than one neighbor tell them they heard heavy equipment running late at night on the night Patty disappeared.”

Both Kinsey and Kiolbasa believe investigators need to start over from the beginning by searching the Vaughans’ former property for Patty’s remains.

“There was a new trash pit dug four months before she disappeared and covered over around the time of her disappearance,” Kiolbasa said. “But [investigators] never checked them.”

Another possible location for Patty’s body, Kiolbasa said, is the site of an elementary school built in Pleasanton. That property, which was a work site for J.R. around the time of Patty’s disappearance, was searched in June 2006, but no credible evidence was found.  “Patty may not be there, but something might be there,” Kinsey said.

Kiolbasa and Kinsey are still holding out hope that Patty will one day receive justice.

“Patty deserves [justice],” Kiolbasa said. “The whole family deserves to know what really happened, but the children deserve most to know what really happened to their mother. How could they really believe what their daddy has said to them, that she just walked away and left them?”

“I love her and miss her so much each day,” Kinsey said. “This should have never happened to her!”

Anyone with information about Patty’s disappearance is asked to call the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 210-335-6070. Callers may remain anonymous.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Patty Vaughan Case Close to Being Solved?

  Reported by: Mireya Villarreal


SAN ANTONIO -- There are new developments in one of San Antonio's biggest mysteries. Investigators now believe they're close to solving the case of Patty Vaughan.

Christmas day will mark 12 years since anyone has seen Vaughan. Now investigators say they believe she was murdered and that people who knew her may have helped get rid of her body.

Investigators tell News 4 WOAI that finding Vaughan's body is no longer their first priority. They just want to know what happened to her the night she was killed.

"Everyone wants to find Patty," said Louis Antu with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. "I understand, that's important, especially when it comes to closure for the family. But when it comes to us working a homicide, we want to know exactly what happened."

Patty's husband told police she left their home on Christmas night 1996 after they had a fight. A day later, her van was found but her body never was. Still, Bexar County Cold Case investigators are moving on with the case.

"There's a possibility that we can file this case without a body," said Antu. "We've done it before and we got an indictment without a body. It can be done again."

In fact, investigators are sure they are close to wrapping up Vaughan's case.

"We have enough evidence to file a circumstantial case," said Antu. "We feel we have a strong case. But we only get one shot at this."

Investigators tell News 4 WOAI that Vaughan's husband is still the main person of interest in the case, but they now believe that family friends may have helped get rid of her body.

"With what we gathered, it does appear that people involved in Patty's disappearance were very close to her," said investigator Adrian Ramirez.

Investigators are now asking those friends to come forward.

"Sometimes we're just asking people to dig deep into their heart," said Antu. "Just having knowledge of it, it's not going to necessarily put you in prison."

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Web Posted: 12/26/2008 12:00 CST

Vaughan cold case could heat up

Investigators working on the case of Patty Vaughan, who disappeared Christmas night 12 years ago, say new leads have pointed to the involvement of people close to the mother of three and her estranged husband.

The body of Vaughan, who left her home after an argument with her husband, has never been found.

But a cold case investigator with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, which picked up the case again last year, says he “feels strongly that people very close to Patty and Jerry Ray are involved†with her disappearance.

“People are finally coming forward†with solid leads, said Deputy Adrian Ramirez. He also suggested that anyone who knows firsthand what happened to her should not wait for a knock on the door from investigators.

“People who assisted, directly or indirectly, need to come forward,†Ramirez said.

If Ramirez and Deputy Louis Antu, his partner on the investigation, can bring an air-tight homicide case to the district attorney, it will be the culmination of thousands of hours of work by at least four sheriff's departments, the Texas Rangers, the Department of Public Safety, the FBI, dozens of volunteers, a handful of psychics, two engineering companies and at least one private eye.

It would also in some ways bring the tale full circle.

As an evidence technician with the sheriff's office, Ramirez worked the case in its first days, processing the van Patty Vaughan was seen driving away in, along with the Vaughans' house.

Barb Kinsey, Patty Vaughan's cousin, remains skeptical. “I've heard so many theories,†she said. “We're frustrated and tired.â€Â

Kinsey, who now lives in Lampasas, believes the initial investigation was muffed and that it suffered subsequently as it moved from agency to agency.

“I think they need to go back to the basics, to that house, and start over,†Kinsey said. “Patty disappeared from that house.â€Â

By now, the contours of the story are familiar: Patty Vaughan, age 32, mother of children ages 9, 8 and 6 at the time, got into a fight with her husband, Jerry Ray Vaughan, Christmas evening 1996 at their home in La Vernia.

Patty Vaughan had apparently admitted to an affair with an ex-boyfriend a couple weeks before; according to news reports from the time, Jerry Ray Vaughan had been living in an apartment in San Antonio and gave notice when he found out.

A witness reported seeing Patty Vaughan driving away in the family's van, which was found the next day with a flat tire  investigators subsequently said the air had been let out intentionally  on the shoulder of Loop 1604 just west of Highway 37.DNA tests confirmed that blood found in the van, in the Vaughans' bedroom and on a mop in the house belonged to Patty.

Jerry Ray Vaughan, a construction superintendent, was questioned by sheriff's deputies, and the work sites he had access to were also examined, by bloodhound and with radar equipment.

Some sites were even dug up in subsequent years, but no trace of Patty Vaughan's body was ever found. Jerry Ray Vaughan was never named as a suspect in the case.

A year after her disappearance, the case was described as having “come to a stand still.†A lieutenant with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said at the time that if they had been able to find a body, there was enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Jerry Ray Vaughan has since moved with his three children, reportedly to Colorado. He has never commented publicly and could not be reached Thursday.

Ramirez said the case is not focused on Jerry Ray Vaughan now, but rather on those people the deputies believe may have helped dispose of Patty Vaughan's body.

“When we took the case back (last year) we knew we needed to look at the case with an open mind, not tunnel vision,†Ramirez said.

He said he and Antu began by meeting with all the other agencies that had worked the case since 1996.

“Everybody had a little bit of something,†he said. “And we're starting to get some good information, now that one agency is working on it again.â€Â

Kinsey said Patty's family would welcome closure. “It won't bring her back, but someone out there got away with murder,†she said.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Article form 2008

Detectives Reveal Key Piece of Evidence in Unsolved Murder Case

Last Update: 5/16/2008 4:27 pm

Posted Image

For the first time, detectives are revealing a piece of evidence that could help solve one of the most high-profile cases in this area.

A red jumpsuit was found with some other pieces of men's clothing inside Patty Vaughan's van. An emblem that reads "JM" is on the back of the jumpsuit.

Patty Vaughan went missing in December of 1996. Her van was found abandoned off of Loop 1604 on the South Side.

If you have any information about the jumpsuit, call the Bexar County Sheriff's Cold Case Unit at 210-335-6034.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Cary Clack: One boy, missing but not forgotten

Published 11:01 a.m., Saturday, August 13, 2011

In San Antonio, some missing women linger in the public consciousness, and the uncertain stories of some, such as Lupita Cantu and Patty Vaughan, almost become legends. Others fade from the news with the absence of new information.

(It should be noted that Pauline Diaz, an H-E-B employee I wrote about last month, has been missing since December.)

It's the missing children who hold our attention the longest, who can galvanize a community to search and hold vigils and, when our worst fears are realized, can break our hearts.

Read more:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Patty Vaughan

Missing since December 25, 1996

When a dedicated mom's minivan is found abandoned with a flat tire just 24 hours after she reportedly left her three kids and estranged husband behind on Christmas Day, her family fears the worst for thirty-three year-old Patty Vaughan. They believe there is no way the loving mother would have taken off on her kids no matter what. Yet, the last person to see Patty before she left the family home in their small Texas town, her husband J.R., tells family and police that he and his wife had their worst fight ever — and it was over an old boyfriend that Patty had recently been seeing. The words exchanged between the separated couple were hurtful enough to cause Patty to leave and J.R. to file for divorce.

But after Patty's minivan is found the next day on the side of a road she routinely takes to work, and no one has heard from or seen Patty, family members waste no time in organizing a search team. Could Patty have asked the wrong person for a ride to work after her blown out tire? All indicators point to an abduction. But as the race to find Patty ensues, clues start to emerge that paint a very different picture of what might have happened to the mother of three

If you have information about Patty Vaughn, contact Bexar County Sheriff's Office at (210)-335-6041 or (210)-335-6034.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

New Hope For Missing Woman's Family
By: Yami Virgin
Thursday, November 14 2013, 03:35 PM CST

A new area of interest in the 16 year Patty Vaughan Mystery will soon be explored.

Barb Kinsey, Vaughan’s cousin, says this is the one area that was not fully searched.

Wilson County D.A. Rene Pena has signed off on supporting law enforcement with any reasonable expenses.

The dig will be conducted by the C.U. E. Center for the Missing out of North Carolina.

Patty Vaughan was reported missing on December 26, 1996.

Her family has believed she was killed since evidence of blood was found in her home and in her vehicle.

Kinsey says the most important things now are to give Vaughan a final resting place and for her children to know she didn’t abandon them.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


BCSO, FBI back at Patty Vaughan's ex-husband's property

Vaughan disappeared in 1996

Author: Van Darden, Web Editor

Published On: Mar 24 2014 05:56:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 25 2014 08:58:39 PM CDT


SAN ANTONIO - New activity has been reported in the ongoing search for Patty Vaughan, who was last seen in 1996.


Several law enforcement agencies were back out at her former husband's property on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.


Investigators with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office and the FBI said that they were asked to be there by Wilson County sheriff's officials and the Texas Rangers, but just as observers.


A Wilson County sheriff's official said an anonymous tip told Texas Rangers that someone had been digging in the are.


However, agents found no evidence of that and did not find Patty Vaughan's body.


"I'm sure it's very hard on the family because its been a long time ... and, you know, we have to try to do whatever we can to help them," Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt.


Vaughan's husband, JR Vaughan, has been a person of interest in her disappearance.


There have been searches on properties all over South Texas over the years and several different agencies have investigated her disappearance.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


KSAT gets inside look at BCSO's cold case files

200+ cases remain unsolved


POSTED DECEMBER 17, 2014, 10:25 PM

UPDATED DECEMBER 18, 2014, 3:41 AM

By Bill Barajas



SAN ANTONIO - More than 200 cases have gone cold at the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. The cases have no statute of limitations and investigations are always ongoing.


"The cold case investigator is constantly looking at it, constantly going back and re-reviewing cases," said BCSO Deputy Chief George Saidler.


The sheriff's office labels investigations as cold cases after a year has passed and the case remains unsolved.


BCSO's cold-case unit is made up of one detective who usually works several cases at a time.


"Let's say a (piece of) technology came around and you found out you wanted some more blood tests or something and you send it to the crime lab. That might take six to eight weeks to get any information back from the crime lab, so instead of just sitting there and waiting, not doing anything, you look at another case," Saidler said.


Saidler says every case is important and often times hard to forget.


For instance, Patty Vaughan disappeared in 1996 and has never been found. She is officially listed as a missing person. Her case, while covered extensively in the media, is one of but many in the cold-case files.


As 2014 comes to an end, Saidler said he wants to remind the public that no tip is too small and every piece of information is investigated.


If you have any information on a missing person or an unsolved case, you're asked to call the BCSO Criminal Investigations Division at 210-335-6070 or at the tips line at 210-335-TIPS.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0